KEARNEY, Nebraska — Over the course of Gilbert "The Hurricane" Yvel’s nearly 15-year professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career, he has plied his trade all over the world, in just about every premier organization, against some of the greatest and biggest fighters in MMA history. Yvel has 54 fights to his credit and is a veteran fighter of the UFC, PRIDE, Affliction, M-1, and K-1. What is even more impressive is that Yvel has won two-thirds of his bouts despite competing throughout his career as an undersized heavyweight.
In a weight class that has a weight limit of 265-pounds or in some cases, no weight limit at all, Yvel has usually tipped the scales around 240-pounds against much larger men. This situation, sometimes leads fighters in his predicament to pack on unnecessary weight in an attempt to help close the weight difference between themself and their much bigger opponents. This decision, however, usually slows down the naturally smaller heavyweights and takes away from their cardio, so Yvel decided to take a much more drastic and effective approach by dropping down to the light-heavyweight (205-pound) weight division.
This is not a common decision among fighters his size. While other undersized heavyweights such as Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic have opted to keep fighting as a heavyweight against much bigger men, only a few such as Randy Couture and Brandon Vera have been able to successfully shed the extra weight in order to drop down to the 205-pound weight class.
Now after going through a rigorous training camp in Las Vegas, Nevada this fall, Yvel weighed-in and hit the 205-pound mark yesterday, which many never even considered a possibility. Yvel has always been a muscular and powerful fighter, known for his electrifying striking prowess, but somehow he was able to shed roughly 40-pounds and made the 205-pound weight limit on his first attempt.
Yvel is now cleared to make his light-heavyweight debut tonight against SportFight veteran Damian Dantibo in the inaugural event of Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA), which will take place at the Viaero Event Center in Kearney, Nebraska. The main card will air tonight at 10 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. PST on www.kearneyevents.com for only $10. The card is loaded with several UFC, Bellator, and WEC veterans, including former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver.